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Thread: What will the 2010/2011 Season bring us from the MEN

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    What will the 2010/2011 Season bring us from the MEN

    Aka: It’s a Mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world
    Aka: A Tale of Two Cities
    Aka: A whimper, not a bang

    Okay, enough with the mediocre-to-bad puns, but I think it conveys the sheer level of chaos that we see in the men’s scene. Whatever you feel about the results of the Olympics, the level of skating wasn’t the highest. If we were to take the top performances from ALL these men, I daresay 90% of them would find stronger ones elsewhere in the previous season or two. Hell, three of the top five didn’t actually compete in the season immediately prior to the Olympics! That’s the whimper.

    1. The Madness
    How many skaters, if they skate their best could be on the podium? Being conservative, I see Chan, Joubert, Takahashi, Brezina, Abbott, Kozuka, and Verner as contenders. Then you have Rippon, Contesti, Oda as possibilities too. Then you have longshots who if they skate their absolute best and others falter (Reynolds, van der Perren, etc).

    This field is nuts.

    2. The Vs – Verner and Voronov
    Don’t you feel bad for Voronov? He’s 19th in 2007, but climbs up to the top ten in 2008 with the 4th ranked long program. He falls out in 2009, but only by three points (plus, his ranking is good enough for two spots, w/ Lutai). He earns his a GP medal with a personal best, comes in second behind Plushenko at his nationals, and seems like a good bet for the Olympics. A bad result at Euros carpet bombs that (and Piseev was pretty open about the reasons too). A fluke at Worlds forces the hopes for two spots onto Voronov after not even being on the team (though realistically, we all knew Plushenko wasn’t going to Turin), and he doesn’t deliver.

    Meanwhile, you wonder how many shots Verner has left. He’s now finished behind his countryman Brezina in three consecutive events. While that result hasn’t hurt Oda in comparison to Kozuka (finishing behind Kozuka @ 4CC 2009 and Worlds 2009 and 2010 for that matter, but Oda still seems ranked ahead nationally), Voronov’s inconsistency is near legendary now (he has the dubious distinction of biggest gap between short and long program placements at Worlds: 16). Brezina seems to have a mental toughness Verner lacks and was good enough on his own to keep two spots (as well as match Verner’s best Worlds result his first time at bat). I do hope Verner figures something out, but it does seem like it’d be too late to make the impact someone of his talent should have.

    3. The number three spot: Canada, US and Japan... who does it go to?
    I’m presuming for Japan it’ll be the same three, but for Canada and the USA? Wide open. Presuming Wier doesn’t compete, of course. The thing is I don’t even think Rippon is locked into the second slot – say Mroz and Carriere fluke into beating him at Nationals – I don’t think USFSA does anything other than go by Nationals and we saw last year that they’re not gonna try and force someone into the slot they didn’t earn due to reputation (pairs)

    And Canada? Chipeur’s out otherwise I think it’d be him. Chan and Reynolds are about as locked in as they can be (barring injury). Ten is super inconsistent, Russell is very green, and Sawyer? One good result last season in a bizarre field brought up hopes, didn’t they? But they remain hopes. Maybe one of the younger Canadians will sneak through (I’m thinking Balde in particular). A team of Chan, Reynolds and Sawyer might be the most purely interesting world team Canada could put together.

    4. The European “Middle-men” – who breaks through?
    Brezina broke through last season, make no mistake. As did Rippon (to a lesser extent). But how about the rest? Borodulin, Amodio and Fernandez are the three I think of, but Paolo Bacchini is rather engaging, Schultheiss dementedly inspired (at times). Right now, of the six, I’d give credit to Fernandez being the one to sneak through next season, but ask me tomorrow and I might say Borodulin. Or Amodio.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    This should be a breakout year for Adam Rippon and I would like to see him challenge Abbott for the title this year. The third spot is wide open. I think we will see some dominance from Takahasi, and I hope more quad flip attempts. Kozuka stil has to make it big on the world scene and Oda has to get some monkeys off his back.

    I really don't know what Brian Joubert will show up this season, he has been very quiet in the off season but is challenging himself with Malagueña. I hope he is able to skate clean and remain injury free.

    Chan is also on the horizon of a potentially big year, if his quad reports are true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post

    3. The number three spot: Canada, US and Japan... who does it go to?
    I’m presuming for Japan it’ll be the same three, but for Canada and the USA? Wide open. Presuming Wier doesn’t compete, of course. The thing is I don’t even think Rippon is locked into the second slot – say Mroz and Carriere fluke into beating him at Nationals – I don’t think USFSA does anything other than go by Nationals and we saw last year that they’re not gonna try and force someone into the slot they didn’t earn due to reputation (pairs)

    And Canada? Chipeur’s out otherwise I think it’d be him. Chan and Reynolds are about as locked in as they can be (barring injury). Ten is super inconsistent, Russell is very green, and Sawyer? One good result last season in a bizarre field brought up hopes, didn’t they? But they remain hopes. Maybe one of the younger Canadians will sneak through (I’m thinking Balde in particular). A team of Chan, Reynolds and Sawyer might be the most purely interesting world team Canada could put together.
    No mention of Rogozine among the Canadian men. Right now I would say that Rogozine is the most likely to get that third spot this year. He has won 2 JGP events and has been rock solid with his consistency since the last junior worlds.

    This year is a catch up year of sorts for Balde. He missed all of last season due to injury. Normally a consistent performer though. Doubt he will medal at nationals this season but definitely will be a factor next year provided he is healthy. Could still make national team.

    Sawyer is not going to do very well. His Quebec PCS scores in the short program were lower than the likes of Balde ( who was competing the first time in over a year ) and Ian Martinez at the same event and Balde and Martinez did not have clean skates there. I know he had both axel and lutz problems in Quebec but having PCS lower than a flawed Balde and Martinez must be worrying.

    Jeremy Ten and Joey Russell still seem to have major triple axel problems. Great stylists both though. Love that Russell goes for triple loop as the second jump of his triple-triple combo. Both are very inconsistent jumpers.

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    It will bring one more girlish champion with no quads.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Nah, all of the guys will be doing Quads now. I believe that Takahashi/Kozuka/Abbott are probably the 3 best out there right now. Perhaps the European guys (or Oda, or Rippon) will surprise me, though. I hope Patrick Chan doesn't medal, if his programs remains as the currently are - that hackneyed Phantom of the Opera LP and the rather dull Take Five SP.

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    I assumed Rogozine would stay junior.

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    As long as the season involves Takahashi, I'll be happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    I assumed Rogozine would stay junior.
    Rogozine is competing senior at Canadians. He did last year.

    He will be going to Junior Worlds for sure. If he gets the trip to senior Worlds as well, he probably would skip 4CC.

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    I'm hoping with a lot of the "top guns" now out of the picture, at least for this season - Lysacek, Weir, Plushenko, Lambiel, etc - skaters like Verner and Abbott can really take advantage of the situation and skate up to their capabilities. I think both men are tremendously talented and if they can control their nerves and become more consistent, there's no reason why they can't be on the GPF and World podium this season. Last season they got hurt a bit on the PCS side of things, but I think that was mostly due to being inconsistent and, in Verner's case, being sick the majority of the season. Even with so many men gone, the field still seems deep. Joubert I see doing more of the same, still being prone to mistakes but always managing to skate well enough to stay on the podium at most competitions. The younger skaters, especially Brezina and Rippon, I expect to become major forces this season, and Amodio and Fernandez, maybe even Shultheiss, I think will become players on the European if not the World stage. I think the fate of these younger skaters depends a lot on if Abbott and Verner are able to get themselves together this season, as I tend to think a clean Abbott or Verner with quads would be able to edge out most of these younger skaters, although who knows. I do think that these young rising skaters, especially in Europe, may come to overshadow skaters like Contesti and Van Der Perren as early as this season.

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    Takahashi looks to dominate the season. The problem last season was that it was his comeback from injury season and he couldn't do long programs with consistency in the GP Series because he did not have the stamina. I mean he would do amazing in short programs but then totally collapse and stumble in some long programs. If Verner out of stubborness hadn't have stayed in the Grand Prix final even while he was sick Takahashi would have went from first to last! This was in evidense in a limited way even at the Olympics. At Worlds he really was able to conquer that. Oda may fall off the team. There is Michida and world jr champ Hanyu. Kozuka may overshadow him.

    For the United States it is obviously Abbott Vs. Rippon. Mroz was weak last season but maybe he will be better this season. Can't count out Mahbanoozadeh.

    In Eruope I assume Joubert will be the frontrunner but Brezina will be right there. Brezina was just recovered from injury at Nebelhorn so him doing poorly there shouldn't be too indicitive of where his season will go. Nebelhorn aslo showed the definite rise of Konstantin Menshov of Russia who maybe will be second to Borodulin. Voronov is still in the mix because he has shown he can do well like in the Free skate at worlds where he came in 4th or Cup of China where he won a medal but he is so inconsistent. Like in Russian nationals he came in second behind Plushenko but was forth in the free skate behind both Borodulin and Menshov. Maybe Morozov will be good for Voronov. Amodio is definitely there. Schultheiss addded a quad last season and rose in the rankings. He was underscored in PCS. His choreo and interpretation were dynamite but totally untraditional.

    Canada will be Chan and then Reynolds and I am sure Rogozine. Sawyer came in second at Skate America with a program that was like 5th in the short and 4th in the long with the spectacular crashes of Amodio and Mroz from short to long and major rises of Verner and Bradley from short to long. So that was really nothing to brag about really.
    Last edited by gmyers; 09-27-2010 at 11:57 AM.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    Takahashi looks to dominate the season. The problem last season was that it was his comeback from injury season and he couldn't do long programs with consistency in the GP Series because he did not have the stamina. I mean he would do amazing in short programs but then totally collapse and stumble in some long programs. If Verner out of stubborness hadn't have stayed in the Grand Prix final even while he was sick Takahashi would have went from first to last! This was in evidense in a limited way even at the Olympics. At Worlds he really was able to conquer that.
    Takahashi was exactly as good at the Olympics as he was at Worlds, he simply got the marks he deserved at Worlds (whereas he didn't at the Olympics). And if you're talking about stamina he actually showed more at the Olympics, considering that at Worlds he didn't do the second Triple Lutz and instead opted to only do a double axel.

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    At the Olympics Takahashi had so many edge calles and urs that he did not get at worlds. Takahashi's performance on jumps at the Olympics in the free skate was as bad as you can get without falls or pops. The tech caller at the olympics was not that strict. At the olympics takahashi tried a quad toe which does not have the vailue of a quad flip so he could do a double axel and not a triple lutz because the points from the flip more than made up for going from a triple lutz to a double axel. Takahashi's people really went over the numbers.
    Last edited by gmyers; 09-27-2010 at 02:21 PM.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    At the Olympics Takahashi had so many edge calles and urs that he did not get at worlds.
    And he shouldn't have gotten any of them. Again, Takahashi was simply held down at the Olympics.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    Takahashi's performance on jumps at the Olympics in the free skate was as bad as you can get without falls or pops.
    LOL? NO. First of all, "as bad as you can get" would be every jump getting downgraded or having a problem on the landing and that's an entire universe away from what he accomplished. What actually happened is Takahashi did 8 Triples, none of which should have been downgraded and only one of which had any fault on the landing. The layout of the second half of his program was the most difficult of the entire competition as well. Takahashi's jumping was equally as good as Lysacek's, if not better. Lysacek did a weak double axel instead of attemping a Quad, rotating it, and falling (which is absolutely not more impressive) and he gets quite a bit less height on most of his jumps. Evan did the 3-jump combo, which balances out his smaller jumps, and that's it. The rest of the program was the same - the exact same 8 Triple jumps, one of which was shaky.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    At the olympics takahashi tried a quad toe which does not have the vailue of a quad flip so he could do a double axel and not a triple lutz because the points from the flip more than made up for going from a triple lutz to a double axel. Takahashi's people really went over the numbers.
    I'm not sure what you're even babbling about now. Takahashi attemping a Quad Flip instead of a Quad Toe doesn't mean he should downgrade another jump in the program so that the numbers are equal. More points is more points. Takahashi watered down the end of his program at Worlds for no reason whatsoever.

    So, actually, despite the fall at the Olympics, I would still mark it slightly higher than his effort at Worlds. Falling on a Quad Toe isn't much worse than two-footing an underrotated Quad Flip and doing a Triple Lutz instead of a double axel more than makes up for the difference. Also, Takahashi's performance at the Olympics had slightly more energy, despite the fall at the beginning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    And if you're talking about stamina he actually showed more at the Olympics, considering that at Worlds he didn't do the second Triple Lutz and instead opted to only do a double axel.
    I think that was because he was going for a quad flip to open the programme; if he had popped it to triple then he would have had to think on his feet and change one of his planned triples (flip or lutz) to double to avoid being caught by Zayak rule. So I assume that it was actually the plan put together by his team to change 3Lz-2T to 2A-2T, just in case. It happened to him at Torino Olympics, and also he has lost points by jumping too many combinations a few time before, because he got a bit confused by mistake earlier in the programme (most notably at 08 Worlds, which cost him a medal), so it was understandable if his team, including himself, felt a need for preparing for the worst.

    Having said that, I agree that he seemed to be lacking stamina (even slightly) at the Worlds, compared to the Olympics; it showed at the end of the SlSt. Also he admitted that he suffered from the lack of motivation going into the Worlds and was under-prepared. He thought about withdrawing actually because of that.

    BTW, in one of his latest interviews, he said his quad toe was definitely coming back as his right knee continues to improve. At the moment, it seems more likely to see him going for a quad toe than quad flip, although he continues to practice the latter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    And he shouldn't have gotten any of them. Again, Takahashi was simply held down at the Olympics.



    LOL? NO. First of all, "as bad as you can get" would be every jump getting downgraded or having a problem on the landing and that's an entire universe away from what he accomplished. What actually happened is Takahashi did 8 Triples, none of which should have been downgraded and only one of which had any fault on the landing. The layout of the second half of his program was the most difficult of the entire competition as well. Takahashi's jumping was equally as good as Lysacek's, if not better. Lysacek did a weak double axel instead of attemping a Quad, rotating it, and falling (which is absolutely not more impressive) and he gets quite a bit less height on most of his jumps. Evan did the 3-jump combo, which balances out his smaller jumps, and that's it. The rest of the program was the same - the exact same 8 Triple jumps, one of which was shaky.



    I'm not sure what you're even babbling about now. Takahashi attemping a Quad Flip instead of a Quad Toe doesn't mean he should downgrade another jump in the program so that the numbers are equal. More points is more points. Takahashi watered down the end of his program at Worlds for no reason whatsoever.

    So, actually, despite the fall at the Olympics, I would still mark it slightly higher than his effort at Worlds. Falling on a Quad Toe isn't much worse than two-footing an underrotated Quad Flip and doing a Triple Lutz instead of a double axel more than makes up for the difference. Also, Takahashi's performance at the Olympics had slightly more energy, despite the fall at the beginning.
    I was just taking the tech callers urs and e's on Takahashi's skate as legit. If you think they were illegitmate than I would agree with you. Judging the performances purely by watching them and not looking at the judges scores part was not where I was coming from.

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